The Food Chain examines the business, science and cultural significance of food, and what it takes to put food on your plate.
United States
204 episodes
since Oct. 31, 2014


The pig plague

A deadly and highly contagious disease is sweeping across Asia, killing millions of pigs and destroying the livelihoods of millions of farming families. African Swine Fever is not harmful to humans, but it kills infected pigs in just a few days and there is no known cure. The virus has taken hold in the world’s most densely populated pig farming region, spreading from China – home to half of the world’s pigs – to Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Laos and North Korea in the last year. So can it be stopped, and if so how? Gareth Barlow speaks to three people on the front line of the fight against the disease - the woman tasked by the United Nations to eradicate it, a major food business in Thailand trying to keep it at bay, and the man who eliminated the disease from Spain more than 20 years ago. We ask whether African Swine Fever could mean the end of small-scale pig farming in Asia, and find out how it could forever change food cultures and cuisines in a region so dominated by pork. (Picture: Health officials spraying disinfectant on a dead pig at a farm in Hanoi, Vietnam. Credit: Manan Vatsayana/AFP/Getty Images)
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